Heartbroken mother's video of son, 17, before he was stabbed to death

Heartbroken mother shares footage of schoolboy son, 17, playing football before he was stabbed to death on high street as she says ‘my heart is empty’

  • EXCLUSIVE: Mother of Ilyas Habibi, 17, described the teen as her ‘angel’
  • Ilyas was stabbed to death on his way home from college on a London street
  • Teen’s brother has revisited the scene of his death every night since 

The family of a football-loving sixth former who was stabbed to death in a random attack have released poignant footage of him playing football just weeks before his death.

Ilyas Habibi, 17, a passionate fan and player, who also coached other youngsters, was knifed on Sutton High Street in south London, on his way home from college on December 5.

Ilyas, who arrived in the UK as a child refugee fleeing from the Taliban and war in his native Afghanistan, is believed to have got into in altercation with a stranger when he was killed.

Today his mother told MailOnline: ‘It tears me apart knowing he will never be with us again. My heart is empty.’

And, as a tribute to Ilyas – as well as to publicise his alleged murder in the hope of reaching more potential witnesses – the Habibi family have released a cache of images and video of him.

Ilyas Habibi’s family have released poignant footage of him playing football just weeks before his death

The 17-year-old was stabbed to death in the street on his way home from college 

Ilyas arrived in the UK as a child refugee fleeing from the Taliban and war in his native Afghanistan

Mrs Habibi went on: ‘Ilyas would always talk to me about anything when he comes home and tell me what he did during the day and now he is gone I’m empty. My heart is empty.

‘When I go to his room I can smell him – my angel – and it tears me apart knowing he will never be with us again.’

Speaking via her oldest son, she added: ‘I haven’t touched a thing in his room. I want it to be how Ilyas left it.’

Ilyas’s older brother Elham, 20, has acted as a spokesman for his parents and his surviving four siblings since the horror attack on his brother.

READ MORE: Pictured: Teenage boy, 17, stabbed to death on Sutton high street just weeks before Christmas – leaving his family ‘reeling’ from shock

Elham, who has visited the scene every day since to try to process what’s happened, told how his brother was a normal 17-year-old who loved football and was excited about learning to drive when his life was snuffed out.

Elham said: ‘I can’t accept that my brother is dead. Everyone is still in shock. My mum hasn’t stopped crying and collapsing.

‘Ilyas was not the type of guy to have a problem with anyone. I have spoken to his college friends and they aren’t aware of any issues with anyone.

‘I keep saying ‘He’s going to open the door. He’s going to come into the house now.’

‘Even though I’ve seen his body, my heart and mind can’t accept that he has gone.’

A murder probe has been launched and detectives say that Ilyas – a student at Croydon College – had arrived at Sutton High Street by train. They believe he was involved in an altercation with a suspect who then fled the scene and who may himself have been injured as Ilyas tried to defend himself.

Police and paramedics rushed to save Ilyas but sadly he died at the scene.

Describing the moment he and his parents went to identify the body last Friday at St Helier’s Hospital in Carshalton, Elham said: ‘He was just so peaceful. It just looked like he was sleeping.

‘Sometimes, in the night, I used to go in and see him and he’d be sleeping peacefully. When I saw his body at the hospital it was just like that. His mouth was literally smiling and his face was so bright that I was speechless.

‘As kids we were always together. We lived together. We ate together.

‘Now I pray for him. I wake in the middle of the night and pray for him again. I just say, ‘come in my dreams so that I can at least see you again’.

‘I’ve got voice messages from Ilyas where I’m going through them and he’s talking about his driving theory test. Mum goes through hers. Dad goes through his.’

Police say Ilyas was involved in an altercation with a suspect who then fled the scene

Ilyas came to the UK to be safe and was ‘failed’ by the authorities, his grief-stricken family said

The Habibi family arrived in England a decade ago, initially settling in South Norwood, where they became respected members of the local Muslim community, before moving to Sutton earlier this year.

Elham said: ‘My family came here from Afghanistan to be safe. Now I feel like the system here in England, that was supposed to protect us, has failed.’

He added: ‘I’ve looked at all the CCTV cameras. I’ve gone to the place where my brother was killed every single night.

‘At that time of night there are so many people around. I’ve spoken to shop owners who have CCTV footage. There are cameras everywhere.

‘It’s not even about how long this person [the killer] will get in prison. I don’t care about how long he gets sentenced for. All I want to know is ‘Who is he? And why did he do it?’.

‘It doesn’t make a difference to me because my brother is gone forever.

Ilyas was a keen football fan, who had also been coaching a youth football team in nearby Selhurst. He was taking a Construction course at sixth form college

Elham said: ‘He loved football and was a big Arsenal fan. He played a lot and even coached younger kids.’

This family had been looking forward to spending quality time together over the Christmas holidays.

Elham said: ‘As Muslims we don’t celebrate Christmas. But we were excited for the holidays.

‘Ilyas was getting a few days off for Christmas and I was taking time off work to spend time with him and family. I never thought it would end up like this.’

His final conversation with his brother was the day before his death when Ilyas came to his office in Croydon and they discussed him trying to qualify for a full driving licence.

Elham said: ‘He was talking about arranging a driving test. He was saying ‘Who’s going to pay for my car? Who’s going to pay for my insurance?’

‘I told him I’d pay for the car and the licence and that I’d book his theory test as long as he was ready. It was going to happen that week but the next day he was killed.’

Ilya’s alleged murder came ten weeks after schoolgirl Elianne Andam,15, was stabbed to death in nearby Croydon.

Anyone with information concerning this incident should call the incident room direct on 0208 721 4622; call police on 101 or Tweet on ‘X’ @MetCC quoting 6107/5DEC.

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